Visit to Shirdi – July 2013

Published on: Jul 11 2013 by Sachin
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2013 07 11 Saibaba

Shirdi is the abode of Sai Baba, one of the most revered saints of modern India. Sai Baba has followers across all religions, particularly the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains. People from other religions also visit Shirdi to seek the blessings of Sai Baba. In modern times, Sai Baba has been accorded the status of God, some even calling him one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. He imparted two teachings – Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience). If you have faith and patience, you will succeed – he said.

I have a lot of personal faith in Sai Baba. I visit Shirdi three to four times every year. I have been doing it since 2004. Whenever I feel the need to connect with HIM and have a conversation about things that mean something to me, I dash off to Shirdi. 

Last week, I felt like visiting Shirdi to have a one to one conversation with HIM.  I booked my bus tickets for the 10th night so that I could be in Shirdi on the 11th – a Thursday which is considered as the offering day for Sai Baba. There are a lot of devotees in Shirdi on any Thursday. Devotees come mainly from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Being in Mumbai has its advantage in terms of visiting Shirdi. The best route to Shirdi is via the Nashik highway. Thane to Nashik is about a 2 hours journey (approx. 180 kms). Nashik to Shirdi is again roughly 2 hours journey (approx. 100 kms). Nashik to Shirdi is a narrow road and hence it takes time to cover the distance. How quickly you can reach Thane from Mumbai decides the total journey time from Mumbai to Shirdi. From Borivali, Thane is about an hour journey (approx. 40 kms). If I choose to drive my car, it takes me roughly six hours to reach from Borivali to Shirdi with a couple of breaks.

It is economical traveling by a bus when alone. I prefer to travel with Neeta Travels as I consider them very reliable. Their buses are in good condition, their drivers are good and they have good compliance policies. They have almost 12 buses running daily to and fro between Mumbai and Shirdi. So if there is any problem with any bus or you miss out on one, there are chances that you will be easily accommodated in one of their other buses. The fares are also reasonable. Non AC buses cost around 250 to 300 Rs one way. AC buses cost around 450 to 500 Rs one way. If you visit during the off-season, you can also hope to get a bargain deal like I got. I got my return fare for a VOLVO AC bus (called GARIB RATH) at Rs 550 only. A real deal as I booked online.

I took the 10 pm bus which picked me up at the Borivali National Park gate exactly at 10.05 pm. From 10 pm to 12.30 am, the bus was picking up passengers on route: borivali -> goregaon -> andheri -> santacruz -> bandra -> sion -> ghatkopar -> vikhroli -> mulund -> thane. We crossed the Thane toll plaza at about 12.30 am. And then I went into the sleep mode to be woken up at 4.45 am in Shirdi.

I picked my bags and took a hotel room to only freshen up (brush with a good warm water bath). If you are a single male, you can use the room for 30 odd minutes and have your bath. You need to pay about 50 to 100 Rs, depending on your negotiation skills with the agent. Once ready, I packed my belongings and deposited them in the cloakroom. I also deposited my mobile and footwear. You are not allowed to carry any belongings, handbags, mobile phones or cameras inside the temple. You are also not allowed to wear any kind of footwear inside.

At 5.15 am, I was standing in the queue with some roses as an offering. Sai Baba loved roses so it is the most commonly offered flower. There were roughly 500-600 people in the queue before me. It took a couple of hours before I entered the main ‘samadhi’ hall and had a close look at the idol of Sai Baba. I always feel at peace when I see the idol of Sai Baba. Once out of the ‘samadhi’ hall, I went to the ‘Mukh darshan sabha’ – a meditation hall where you can see the idol from some distance. This hall is not generally crowded. I sat peacefully for an hour and half in meditation and having my silent conversation with HIM.

It was 9 am when I came out of the temple. I had the 11 am return bus to catch. I had some breakfast, some snacks, a little bit of shopping and did some wandering before I reached the bus waiting hall of Neeta travels. The bus left at 11 am. There was a lot of traffic on the Nashik highway and in the city. I reached Borivali only at 9 pm. Thus, a visit to Shirdi from Mumbai and back can be easily managed in one day, less than 24 hours.

Books on Shirdi Sai Baba – There are many books that highlight the life and teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba in a very devout and simple manner. Some of the more engrossing and enriching books are:

  1. Know About Shirdi Sai Baba (Know About Series)
  2. Shri Sai Satcharitra: The Wonderful Life and Teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba
  3. Sai Baba of Shirdi: A Unique Saint
  4. Sai Baba of Shirdi 52 Success Facts – Everything You Need to Know about Sai Baba of Shirdi
  5. Shirdi Sai Baba: The divine Healer

Other Travel Information – If you do not have a hotel booking in Shirdi, you can keep all your belongings with the Sai Sansthan Trust. They charge 3 Rs per bag, 2 Rs per mobile phone and 1 Re per footwear pair. They also run a canteen that offers tea and coffee for as less as Rs 1 and Rs 2. They offer mattresses for sleeping for 50 Rs a night. The trust does this to make sure that people who cannot afford the lodging expenses can still visit and seek the blessings of Sai Baba. I haven’t seen many temple trusts do as much for the devotees. They also offer reasonably priced AC and Non AC accommodation. It has been recently renovated and worth considering option for people who are looking for reasonably priced accommodation in Shirdi.

There are many things to do in Shirdi and in the temple campus apart from praying in the main samadhi hall. There are many other temples where one can offer prayers and seek blessings. Refer to the internal map of the temple for the various other temples located in the campus.

2013 07 11 Saibaba Mandir Map

— Sachin

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34 Comments to “Visit to Shirdi – July 2013”

  1. vishal says:

    hi sachin…i want to know is there any specific place or arrangement to keep baggage and mobile as its not allowed inside.

  2. خرید vpn says:

    hi. thanks for this post!
    very good…

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  4. Sakthi kumar says:

    Hello Sachin,
    It was really a beautiful article guiding all devotees who are new to shirdi temple, even i am from chennai and i do have a small problem, because, i am not comfortable with hindi language, on such circumstances how i can negotiate and bargain with people over there? i am coming with my friend and we are starting from CST train which reaches shirdi sainagar around 4 am, all we need is one hour accomodation for refreshing and keep our bags and mobiles safely. kindly guide me? should i need to go directly to temple?? whether do i have any accomodations near by? if so, should i need to get accomodated near temple itself or any private lodging houses are there? do they provide rooms for people who do not know hindi language? bit scared that the chances of getting cheated is very easy if i do not speak local language?? where should i deposit my luggage and mobile phones? any seperate counter is there at temple premises?
    Expecting a reply frm you. kindly address all the queries in a nutshell.
    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Sakthi Kumar.

  5. خرید vpn says:

    the best site that i seen for ever
    anyway regard for your informatin

  6. Shirdi is very peaceful place and holy place can visit some more temples in nashik.

  7. templeyatri says:

    Hay,you write a very nice blog.This blog gives a very nice knowledge about the shirdi temple darshan . Thank you for giving us such information. For more information and cheapest temple packages please visit our website:
    http://www.templeyatri.com

  8. Arup K Chatterjee says:

    Dear Sachin,
    Its a very nice and comprehensive post for the devotees wishes to visit Shirdi. Thanks a lot,

  9. sai says:

    This is nice place.Visit to more info:-www.hotelsaisnehal.com

  10. Sachin you have done the pious work of providing most needed information to the devotees who are on the verge of visiting shiirdi. Many such visitors will be truly benefited from this write up.

  11. Debjit says:

    Sachin…will be very grateful if you can let me know, whom/ where to approach for hotel rooms (that too for just few hours in order to fresh up)…I will be getting at the Shirdi bus stop, travelling from Pune, early mrng at 4:30…thanks in advance

    • Sachin says:

      Hi Debjit,

      Shirdi bus stop is some distance away from the shirdi temple (about 15 mins walk). However it is off the main road itself. If you come out of the bus stand, you will find a lot of lodges/ hotels on the main road on either side. Depending on your needs and your bargaining ability, you maybe able to secure a deal between 200-500 rs for 3 hrs time in a lodge.

  12. Narayana says:

    Hi Sachin,
    Very useful information. Thanks :)
    I’m from South India. My family (6 members) is going to visit Shirdi temple next month. I checked on saibaba sansthan site. I’m planning to book accommodation from this site. Any suggestions/opinions ? They also have darshan tickets for Rs.300. I guess its not mandatory, but will there be any advantage booking this ticket ? Could you please help me with this details.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Narayana

    • Sachin says:

      Dear Narayana,

      I never buy the darshan ticket. It takes about two hours on a normal day to complete the darshan from the point you stand in the queue. Sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little shorter. No need to buy the 300 rs ticket, if you have budgeted about 3-4 hours for the darshan.

      Thanks
      Sachin

  13. jay menon says:

    Hi sachin,Good work and first of all i appreciate ur blog,I hope to travel to shirdi by train,as iam not comfortable travelling in a bus,I need to know whether there are any hotels where we can spend around 12 hrs in a day,as i need to travelback at the same day.
    Can u help me on this?
    thanks and regards
    jay menon

    • Sachin says:

      The Shirdi train station is little away from the actual temple. Also the train starts from Mumbai around 7-8 am (you will have to check the time) and reaches around 4 pm. That to me is the biggest disadvantage as then you cannot complete the darshan and be back in a day. However, if you have time, you can use the train. I have never traveled by train as I prefer to leave at night and offer my prayers early morning, clearly not possible through train travel.

      Most hotels in Shirdi allow half a day stay, at approximately half of the daily rate. If you bargain, you will get a good deal. When I travel with family, I always book a hotel after reaching shirdi. If you have a vehicle, couple of kms away, you will get really good deals. Now that I have been so often, I know what kind of rates work in what seasons. However most decent hotels/ lodges charge somewhere near 1000-2000 rs depending on the season and your bargaining capability.

      Hope this helps.

  14. anandan says:

    Thanks sachin. Its very informative. There is one train ( DADAR -SHIRDI EXP.) from dadar to shirdi every wednesday 9.45 pm and return to dadar by thursday 10.25 pm. from shirdi. Its very comfortable for the devotees who visit shirdi on the thursdays. Sachin …can you tell me the hotel name in which you had refreshed? Is it near by the main temple? can i get single room accomation? The train reaches shirdi by 3.50 am. Is it possible to attend kaakda aarti?

    • Sachin says:

      Hi Anandan, the shirdi train station is little further away from the temple. It will be better if you look for some accommodation close by. If you have good bargaining skills, you can possibly hope to get a room for a few hours (6-8) for somewhere around 300-400 rupees. If you are traveling light without any luggage, you can have a quick bath etc and be at the temple for the aarti. having a quick bath and getting refreshed should not cost more than 50-100 rupees for a 30 min stay..depends on whether you are traveling alone or with friends or with family..if you are looking for a reasonably priced one day accommodation, you can look a little further away from the main temple as you can get a good hotel for about 700-800 rs a night. There are so many options available that its best to look for one which is convenient to the place where your bus or train drops you. Hope this is helpful. Thanks. Sachin

  15. Very informative specially about Mukh Darshan sabha and Facilities provided by the Sansthan.People traveling from Mumbai can not only know what is the distance from Shirdi but which bus to catch and bus fair.

  16. Devendra says:

    Very very crisp info..thanks Sachin !

  17. pravinvarankar says:

    this is good article

  18. Tushar Mallya says:

    This article is very interesting facts and I came to know a lot of facts which were not known to me

  19. Ashish says:

    I like this place very much

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